The Guardian reports that secondary schools across the city are being invited to apply for a metal detecting “wand” to screen students. In addition every school will get its own “safer schools” police officer as part of a package of measures announced by London’s mayor yesterday.
According to the mayor’s office, 24 Londoners under the age of 25 have been fatally stabbed on London’s streets so far this year. Attacks with bladed weapons rose by 24% last year in London
But headteachers said the final decision on the use of security screening should be left up to individual schools.
“Knife wands may be a useful measure in preventing weapons being brought on to school premises, and school leaders are best placed to judge if, when and how to use them,” said Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders that represents many secondary school leaders.
Schools will be invited to apply to the mayor’s office for aLondon knife wand and will use them in consultation with both the mayor’s team and the Metropolitan police. A high-risk school may choose to use its detector regularly to screen students entering the premises, or at individual school events.
Cressida Dick, the Met police commissioner, said: “Despite everything that has been happening in London in recent weeks – knife crime remains a top priority for me and the Met. The reason for this is simple – far too many people are carrying knives, too many are committing crimes with those knives and too many are getting injured or killed.”
The mayor will spend an additional £625,000 on new knife and gang crime projects, taking total spending to £7m. Launching the new strategy, he called on the government to reverse cuts to youth services in the capital.
Would your school apply for a detector? Is there any other way to prevent pupils carrying weapons? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~Tamsin
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